Telco Optus has turned on its first six 5G millimetre Wave (mmWave) commercial sites in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, as the carrier clocks up one million 5G capable devices on its network.
The new mmWave sites include four Sydney-based locations: Kings Cross, Surry Hills, North Ryde and, naturally, Optus Sydney Campus; as well as Huntingdale in Melbourne and Strathpine in Brisbane, with more to come over the coming weeks.
Optus’ mmWave sites are equipped with 800Mhz spectrum bandwidth, tapping into the ‘golden Ghz’ acquired during last month’s 5G spectrum auction.
In April, Telstra, Optus, TPG Telecom subsidiary Mobile JV, Pentanet and Dense Air Australia came away with the rights to radio spectrum in the 26 GHz band, considered an optimal ingredient for delivering 5G services in Australia.
Collectively, the telcos paid $647,642,100, with Telstra being the biggest contributor, winning 150 lots for $276,576,200. Optus, meanwhile, won 116 lots for $226,203,100.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) conducted the 26 GHz band spectrum auction in April 2021, starting on 12 April 2021 and ending on 21 April 2021. According to the telco industry regulator, the 26 GHz band is a pioneer mmWave spectrum band, optimised for the delivery of 5G services.
“This outcome represents another significant milestone for 5G in Australia,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said at the time. “The successful allocation of this spectrum will support high-speed communications services in metropolitan cities and major regional centres throughout Australia."
Now, Optus claims its customers will benefit from the ultra-high capacity and speeds enabled by mmWave – once mmWave commercial devices are available and being used by said customers.
"What a fantastic day for Optus 5G as we mark not one, but two milestones on our world-class network,” said Matt Williams, managing director of marketing and revenue at Optus. “The demand from our customers for 5G capable devices has surged in recent months, with eight out of 10 handsets that we sell today now 5G enabled."
“One million 5G devices is just the beginning for us and as we grow our 5G network and launch new capabilities we expect our 5G customer base to grow in parallel,” he added.
Optus currently has more than 1,200 5G sites, including the six mmWave enabled sites.